It is the American way to bend over backward in the peaceful direction. We continually accept provocations, insults, humiliations, and even acts of war without significant response. We naively assume that if we humble ourselves then our enemies will respond in a peaceful and reasonable manner. Most Americans see nothing wrong with that approach, even as we recognize that it rarely works. We’re comfortable with it because we know that while others may push us around, there’s a point beyond which we won’t submit. We will strike back, and violently, if pushed far enough.
Unfortunately, the rest of the world misinterprets our actions as a lack of resolve. For example, the Japanese badly misread
resolve prior to WWII and paid the price. US ’s Hussein and Iraq ’s Gaddaffi (or whatever spelling you care to use) misread US resolve and paid the price. And so on… Libya
The tragic aspect of this is that enemies, emboldened by a misread of our resolve, initiate actions which we ultimately have to counter with force. If our resolve were clearer, fewer forceful actions would be required. In other words, a small show of force early can prevent a much larger use of force later. We had many opportunities to prevent the original Gulf War by responding emphatically and forcefully to numerous provocations. The follow up invasion of
would not have been necessary if we had acted more decisively in concluding the original conflict. I can go on and on with examples but this is not a history lesson beyond establishing the premise. Iraq
N. Korea, , and China are misreading our actions and are setting the stage for future conflicts. This is not a political blog so I won’t go any further with this. Instead, I’ll tie this premise back to the Navy. Russia
The Navy, in its search for missions and justifications for the LCS, has latched onto the “presence” mission. For example, the Navy plans to operate several LCS’s in the Pacific region. ComNavOps has already made clear his opinion of that and this is the underlying reason. The LCS is incapable of providing a forceful response. Flooding the Pacific with LCS’s sends the (incorrect) message that the
lacks the will to forcefully confront US N. Korea and . China is building modern, highly capable warships at an accelerating pace. The China is countering with the LCS (and soon, the LCS 2.0). US is not reading that as resolve – it’s reading that as weakness. China
The Navy claims that deterrence (see, "Deterrence and Bluff") is a vital mission but is failing to provide the force necessary to establish that deterrence. Building the LCS is not accomplishing the presence/deterrence mission and the follow-on LCS is not going to either. The Navy needs to get back to building credible warships if it wants to deter future conflicts. To do otherwise is simply setting the stage for a future war.